Sam Tageson, a seventeen year old lifelong San Jose Sharks fan, signed a one day NHL contract with his beloved Sharks thanks to Make a Wish Foundation.. Sam suffers from hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Which translates to only having two heart chambers, rather than four. Doctors told him he would never ride a bike, or play hockey, but he has played minor hockey, and he rides a skateboard on a daily basis. His story alone drives shivers up my spine, but this moment is not for the weak at heart, even for those who are not sports fans.
He was given the opportunity to practice with the team before the game, he was able to meet the General Manager of the team Doug Wilson, and he made history by becoming the very first non-NHL player to skate through the giant shark head at the SAP Center (Which technically isn't true due to the fact that he signed a one day contract, but I don't want to take away form his story). He then got the chance to stand on the blue line with the Sharks starting lineup as the star spangled banner was belted out to the arena, standing next to "Jumbo" Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and 2014 gold medal winner, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Of course he didn't actually get to play a second during the game, although he did get to fully gear up during warm-up, but he did receive a brilliant standing ovation before the game began. This is where the water works come into play. Sam was waving at the crowd and he couldn't hold back the tears, and why would he. As the crowd jeered, and hollered for Sam, he had to wipe away the tears over flowing out from his eyes with the thick non absorbent hockey glove. The emotions that Sam Tageson was feeling are something that not even the best broadcaster could describe, it was his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that nobody could take away form him, and you could only imagine what his parents were feeling as he was standing on the bench looking out to the San Jose Shark crowd.
The moment is not complete until you watch the video of Sam Tageson enduring most likely the greatest day of his very young life.
It's moments like these that you can justify reasons for being a sports fan. You're not just sitting on your couch watching grown men fight each other, or shoot a piece of plastic into some netting, you're watching people's dreams come true. I dedicate today's blog to the courteous act of the San Jose Sharks and the Make a Wish Foundation. Kudos, and keep making me believe that there is still hope in civilization.